Wilson Oryema is driven to discover how humanity’s behaviour affects the environment. He writes poetry, creates short films, produces documentaries, gives talks and writes articles about sustainability. His approach uses psychology. For example, instead of simply telling people to do something, like recycle, he looks to underlying reasons to why they may not be recycling already.
“When someone says I’ve helped open their eyes to how they behave, consume, and why they should reduce their impact, I feel satisfied.”
Wilson inspires by showing people things they have and haven’t seen before, but he communicates it in more relatable ways. “Condensed messages are easier to understand. I try to make environmentalism more interesting.”
One of Wilson’s projects called “Wait” highlighted consumerism at its worst. Wilson watched one spot on a London street where waste was collected. Without fail, every day more waste appeared. It was collected, only to be replaced by more waste. And so on, and so on. This observation led to an art exhibit and book. “Consumerism is a give-and-take relationship. Things don’t disappear, they are taken from one place and given to another. The more we take (or consume), the more waste we produce. We need a better solution.” Wilson hopes to provide more information about issues affecting the planet to inspire more people to be considerate of their actions and behaviour.
“You can be a hero for nature by understanding your own impact and the trade-offs that take place for you to exist. Then you can learn how to give back.”